Ah, the Genius Bar: It’s (mostly) free, it’s accessible, and nine out of 10 Apple product owners love it.

The latest research from NPD Group indicates folks are willing to buy multiple Apple devices primarily due to their pleasant experience at the Genius Bar. A whopping 90 percent, in fact, said they were “extremely or very satisfied” following their experience. The approval rate is primarily attributed to 88 percent of those Genius Bar consumers receiving complimentary service.

According to NPD Group’s Tech Services Study:

That service left almost all of the 40 percent of Apple owners who took their Apple devices to the Genius Bar very happy. Nearly 90 percent of consumers who used Apple’s tech service said they were extremely or very satisfied. In contrast, top 2 box satisfaction among all consumer service interactions was 78 percent. A major part of their satisfaction came from the fact that only a small percentage actually paid for their service. According to the report, 88 percent of Genius Bar consumers said their service was free compared to 78 percent of all consumers.

The majority of the support was for troubleshooting (37 percent), followed by product repair (28 percent), how-to support (18 percent), software installation/upgrade (11 percent), and product installation/set-up (7 percent).

Apple product consumers also approve the retail giant’s tech support offerings. Sixty percent of consumers claimed they were “somewhat or much more likely” to make another purchase following their experience, while another 31 percent admitted they had a “much more positive view” of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company after their service. However, as the study noted, “physical presence is key.” Fifty-three percent of consumers were extremely satisfied with in-store encounters versus other types of interactions, but 45 percent of younger consumers still preferred virtual communications.

These statistics are interesting, especially considering yesterday’s report from IFOAppleStore. It claimed then-COO Tim Cook and current CFO Peter Oppenheimer pushed former Apple Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson toward revenues over customer satisfaction when then-CEO Steve Jobs was on medical leave in 2009. Moreover, Apple has maintained new policies —despite wide-spread criticism over recent retail layoffs— that reflect budget cuts with an emphasis on revenue. With this outlook, it surely won’t be long until tech support experiences start falling by the wayside.

NPD gathered responses from over 2,000 adults via an online survey in May 2012.

More stats are available in the press release below. 

Nearly 60 Percent of Apple Owners More Likely To Purchase Another Apple Device After Positive Tech Service, According to NPD

Nearly 60 percent of Apple product owners said they are somewhat or much more likely to make another Apple purchase following their tech support experience, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Tech Services Study. The positive tech service also helped change consumer perception of Apple. Thirty-one percent said they had a much more positive view of Apple after their service.

Port Washington, NY (PRWEB) August 28, 2012

Nearly 60 percent of Apple product owners said they are somewhat or much more likely to make another Apple purchase following their tech support experience, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s Tech Services Study. The positive tech service also helped change consumer perception of Apple. Thirty-one percent said they had a much more positive view of Apple after their service.

That service left almost all of the 40 percent of Apple owners who took their Apple devices to the Genius Bar very happy. Nearly 90 percent of consumers who used Apple’s tech service said they were extremely or very satisfied. In contrast, top 2 box satisfaction among all consumer service interactions was 78 percent. A major part of their satisfaction came from the fact that only a small percentage actually paid for their service. According to the report, 88 percent of Genius Bar consumers said their service was free compared to 78 percent of all consumers.

The majority of the support was for troubleshooting (37 percent), followed by product repair (28 percent), how-to support (18 percent), software installation/upgrade (11 percent), and product installation/set-up (7 percent).

“Tech support is a great service for the consumer, but more importantly it’s a brand-building element for the retailer and manufacturer,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “People tend to associate any type of tech support as a negative experience, but Apple has demonstrated that those ‘negatives’ can be turned into positive brand experiences and result in a trip back to the store.”

Physical presence is key to creating those positive brand experiences. According to the study consumers were more genuinely satisfied when their service was a personal interaction inside a retail store. Fifty three percent of consumers were extremely satisfied with their in-store experience, more so than any other type of service interaction. Younger consumers, despite their reputation as preferring more virtual interactions, were more likely than any other age group to want to use the service in the store, with 45 percent of respondents preferring this method.

“Retailers are rediscovering the value that services can offer the consumer,” said Baker. “Store foot traffic has declined over the years leaving fewer and fewer in-person interactions. Having a strong tech support in-store model helps fill the transaction void and builds brand awareness and satisfaction.”

Methodology
A U.S. representative sample of approximately 2,000 adults (18+) completed on online survey through NPD’sonline panel in May 2012. Some of the participants were pre-identified as consumers who had returned or needed tech support on consumer electronic devices in the past 12 months.

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